Over at Reason.com, Scott Shackford asks if victory over marriage equality is where libertarians and the LGBTQ community part ways. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Outright has looked well beyond the day when marriage equality became a nationally guaranteed right. In fact, marriage equality is only the beginning. While Shackford acknowledges that there are still areas of agreement between Libertarians and the LGBTQ community, he omits far too many areas where government coercion is still harming our community:
· Abolish mandatory gender binary tracking and remove gender from federal documents.
· Grant asylum to persecuted LGBTQ individuals.
· Prohibit forced interventions; such as gender conversion therapies for minors
· Repeal Federal and State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA), and allow freedom of contract between LGBTQ and religious business owners/patrons
· Legalize sex work
· Allow HIV+ patients any chosen medical care
· Allow hate victims to defend themselves
Many other areas of government coercion against LGBTQ individuals still exist and often overlap with other libertarian priorities; For instance, we should allow the option of school choice for children who face bullying in the public school system. Also, there are still areas in the public sector that still have discrimination written into law, including but not limited to employment, housing, military service, and adoption. So no, this is definitely not where libertarians part ways with the LGBTQ community. Our long-standing tradition of radical liberation continues.
A quick note of celebration regarding today's #SCOTUS decision!! What a breathtaking transformation we have seen in American society since the first of us came out of the closet 40 years ago as a radical direct action, in hopes that their courage would one day have the power to normalize same-sex love to our neighbors, friends, families and coworkers. The fruits of that effort are apparent today, as the high court has ruled that our relationships are equal in the eyes of the law; and by a great margin the general public believes that our families are just as important building blocks of society as their own.
It cannot be overstated what an incredible step forward has taken place today.
At the same time, our imperative as Libertarians must always be to stay on the right side of history by looking 40 years (or more) ahead, as we have done since our founding in the era of Stonewall. Years ahead of our time, we called for abolishing the marriage bans which were struck down today. And today, we must continue to shine the torch of liberty toward the future.
A future where trans* individuals no longer face the threat of having their genitals inspected and compared to a marker on their identification cards, indeed, where none of us are forced to present papers on demand to agents of the state at all. A future where weddings in foreign countries are no longer bombed while Americans celebrate at home. A future where prisons are a barbaric relic of the past, and we are no longer raped and murdered in these institutions financed by corporations who receive 100% equality ratings from long since bought-and-paid for LGBT advocacy organizations. A future where our siblings fleeing persecution in countries like Uganda and Russia are welcomed immediately to the land of second chances, instead of being thrown in immigration detention or deported back home to face their death sentences.
In that bright and beautiful future, we are free to prosper alongside our siblings of every race and creed, unhindered by regulatory machinations, the dominance of a brutal central banking establishment, and a market controlled by coercive actors who cloak their fraud in the illusion of freedom while using their influence over our politicians to centralize wealth unto themselves. A future where every single human being is free to live their life as they choose, as long as they harm no other.
I believe that world is possible, and much of it is possible in my lifetime. Every day I pour my heart and soul into the struggle for human liberation, and today I invite you to join Outright Libertarians in fighting that fight together. We have won a major victory today, but marriage freedom was only a battle - it was not the war. And that war is yet to be won.
Together, we can reach that bright shining future, and live finally in peace.
One of the biggest opportunities for modern libertarianism is broadening the scope of liberty for middle class white christians to one that insists on liberty for ALL. It's not that our philosophy is inherently heterosexist, quite the opposite; we have the correct solution to issues of privilege. It's just that over the years, Libertarians have seen small government conservatives as a natural fit for recruitment - the easy way out of navigating a more difficult dialogue with liberals about the way normative culture expectations are woven into the legal system.
The success of this strategy has been both a blessing and a curse. I have nothing but joy for the fact that we have seen an explosion of interest, particularly in the past 10 years, in the philosophy of liberty. Now, as we enter the post-Paul era of Liberatarian advocacy, and the pendulum swings toward the anti-authoritarian left in terms of where our greatest opportunity for recruitment exists, Outright Libertarians is in the fortunate position of having an expertise in issues of GSM liberation, just when the liberal left has run out of ideas for coopting our movement.
You see, the state has always been the instrument of oppression; it has never been our friend. Normative institutions like monogomous marriage have their place in the egalitarian tradition; of course we should be equal under the law. But the question of whether those laws should be there in the first place - and how they serve to reinforce conservative institutions - is a much more interesting one for libertarians; and one the old parties cannot ask without calling into question the very nature of their own ethics of power and control.
We have a long way to go as far as abolishing the actually quite long list of ways in which the state continues to initiate coercive force and fraud against GSM individuals in our everyday lives. In all the fuss over marriage, these issues have taken backstage for the mainstream movement, while those uninterested in assimilation and conformity have been pushed to the fringes. There is fertile ground here to advance abolition, but it's a long uphill battle.
What can be done TODAY, right now, to protect our people?
Jury nullification has a long and powerful tradition of empowerment for the conscientious juror. In most states that have unanimous jury requirements, a single juror who recognizes the injustice of a law can judge the case based on that injustice itself. A juror, for example, can block the prosecution of a sex worker, be they cis- or transgender. They can block the prosecution for consensual BDSM behaviors that face conviction under antiquated "obscenity" laws, and they can protect an HIV patient who has been charged with murder. The list of opportunities for conscientious acquittal is quite long, and the injustice of the law itself is only one reason.
There is a moral imperative to weaponize the jury for self defense when one realizes that GSM identities become entangled in the legal system not only because the law itself exists, but because of stigmas and normative assumptions by law enforcement. And once an individual becomes ensnared in the system, their incarceration has a much higher likelihood of exposing them to rape and physical abuse behind bars. Indeed, even when they are isolated for their own protection, the very act of being confined in solitary is under most circumstances considered a form of torture. The harm done to what is essentially an innocent human being convicted of a victimless crime can't be overestimated.
Outright Libertarians has partnered with the Fully Informed Jury Association (a juror education organization) to put together an educational online discussion based on a paper entitled "Queering Jury Nullification" and centered on the experience of GSM individuals both as victims of state violence and as active participants in civil society through the exercise of our rights as jurors. We are please to invite you to join us online on Saturday, July 18 at 1pm Pacific / 4pm Eastern. Space is limited, so please RSVP on the Event page here.
Last month I wrote about why I would support Gary Johnson if he received the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination in 2016. I explained how I could support a Libertarian candidate such as Johnson without being branded a “purist”, however, I overlooked the fact that there are other principled, non-dogmatic Libertarian candidates in the race for 2016 who deserve a spotlight. This month, I would like to shine a spotlight on one of those candidates: Mr. Steve Kerbel. I had the pleasure of speaking to Mr. Kerbel this week. We discussed Kerbel’s strategy for 2016 and touched on a variety of issues, including those that are very important to Outright Libertarians.